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Students promote urban agriculture
by Bobby Tedder
October 10, 2012 09:04 AM | 1841 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Will Koval, 17, and his Grow Dunwoody mates recently planted cabbage, lettuce, beans and squash in the school gardens.
Will Koval, 17, and his Grow Dunwoody mates recently planted cabbage, lettuce, beans and squash in the school gardens.
The Grow Dunwoody initiative is taking root under the watch of its young handlers.

The fledgling campaign — contemporary horticulture infused with sustainability and eco-friendly concepts — aims to expand its audience this go-round.

Grow Dunwoody, a student-led endeavor, is set to hold its 2012-13 kick-off event at Café Intermezzo Oct. 23.

Will Koval and company will use that occasion to introduce the program and its merits to an array of Dunwoody-based organizations and to spread the group’s educational message about urban agriculture.

“It is necessary to take action now so that we can prepare for our future and our community’s future,” said Koval, Grow Dunwoody’s program director. “It is imperative that we realize the benefits of quality education, urban agriculture and greener lifestyles.”

The kick-off event also doubles as a fundraiser — donations enabling Grow to provide lessons and gardening materials for students at area schools and the community.

Grow currently incorporates gardening clubs and classes at Austin Elementary, Peachtree Charter Middle School and Dunwoody High. It acts as an advisor, facilitator and farmer in some cases — its classes focusing on nutrition, biology and environmentalism.

“I believe that my generation has the capability of realizing [Grow Dunwoody’s] objectives,” said Koval, a senior at Dunwoody High School. “Young people are able to focus on issues in the community and develop innovative ways to combat them … this includes making the general public more aware, like with our kick-off event.”

The organization, agenda-wise, has a full crop on deck for the school year.

Preparations for its winter harvest at Dunwoody High are already under way.

The group will also work with Peachtree Middle and Austin Elementary throughout the year while attempting to garner support from the other five schools of the Dunwoody cluster.

“We are starting a program at the high school that by mid-December will include the home economics and special education courses in the gardening/harvesting process,” Koval said. “Next semester we plan to be working with all or most of the schools in Dunwoody.”

Early February will see Grow Dunwoody’s composting/recycling program, designed to reduce waste in the school cafeterias and classrooms, implemented. The move will also eliminate costs for the school and the group — through fertilizer.

Organization members hope to work on a renewable energy project, specifically solar panels, by May.

“I believe that due to our dedication, we have been able cope with any challenges that have come our way,” Koval said.

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